PETA To Give Away Fur Coats To The Homeless This Christmas

Reverend Hans Visser Opens Doors of Paulus Church for Giveaway 

For Immediate Release:
8 December 2003

Marielle Hendrichs +31 (0)6 510 78060 (mobile)
Sean Gifford +44 (0) 20 7357 9229, ext 226; +44 (0)7773 064 841 (mobile)

Rotterdam, Holland – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have a somewhat unusual present for people living rough in Rotterdam this Christmas: free furs. PETA will hand out dozens of furs – all kindly donated by those who’ve had a change of heart about killing animals for fashion – to some of the city’s neediest people:

Date:  Tuesday, 9 December
Time:  1 pm sharp
Place:  Paulus Church, Mauritsweg 19-20, Rotterdam

Over the years, PETA have received thousands of coats from people – including Playboy magazine centrefold Kimberley Hefner and actor Barbara Bach – who have been sickened by exposés of cruelty to animals caught in steel-jaw leg-hold traps and driven mad in tiny fur-farm cages. PETA use the donated furs in library displays, anti-fur fashion shows, street theatre and other educational events designed to convince shoppers that animals should never be fashion victims. Fully aware that the bottom has dropped out of the fur market, that we cannot return the animals’ lives to them, and that people living without means do not have a choice when it comes to buying a coat, PETA have decided to give these coats away to those in need of extra warmth this winter.

Fur-bearing animals are trapped, drowned or beaten to death in the wild and gassed, strangled or electrocuted on fur farms. On fur farms worldwide, animals are confined year-round to crowded, filthy cages, often with little protection from the elements. Many exhibit symptoms of psychological distress, such as self-mutilation, pacing and endless circling.

Although the number of people in Holland who buy fur is down by 90 per cent since the mid-1980s, the country trails only Denmark and Finland in farmed-fur production, accounting for 2.6 million mink skins per year.

‘We can’t bring these animals back, but we can send a message that only people truly struggling to survive have any excuse for wearing even donated furs’, says PETA Director of European Campaigns Sean Gifford. PETA have previously distributed fur coats to the homeless in the US, Canada, Afghanistan and the UK and plan similar giveaways in Iraq, but this marks the group’s first fur giveaway in Holland.

People can donate furs to PETA by calling +31 30  251 95 91. 

For more information, visit Broadcast-quality footage of animals trapped in the wild and killed on fur farms is available.